Bronx Zoo joins Montefiore for annual Family Diabetes Day event
Dozens of families gathered at the Bronx Zoo for the annual Family Diabetes Day event, hosted by the Children’s Hospital and Montefiore.
Young people diagnosed with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes filled the Bronx Zoo’s Schiff Family Great Hall to learn about new technologies in managing their condition, while also enjoying the zoo.
“It’s so fun to see our patients not in a clinical setting, so they can see that we’re just real life people like they are,” said Leigh Pughe, pediatric nurse practitioner at Montefiore. “We can show them pictures of our kids… talk about regular life.”
Patrick Mertes, the event’s keynote speaker, says he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 9 years old. Now, he’s the first person alive with the condition to summit the highest peak in all 50 states, doing so in just 49 days.
"Diabetes can be a real isolating condition… kids can feel like they're the only ones at their schools living with the condition, and just any opportunity to build community to realize that you're not alone with this disease is so profound,” said Mertes.
Organizers say this annual event serves as a reminder to these young children that no matter what challenges they may face, there are always resources to ensure they stay motivated and have bright futures.